Blame it on an obscure rule. For the first time in a decade, there will be no stock-market closure in observance of New Year’s Day.
U.S. markets will be closed on Christmas Eve, this Friday, because the Christmas Day holiday falls on a Saturday, but equity markets will be open on Dec. 31, which is New Year’s Eve, and operators of the New York Stock Exchange aren’t designating Jan. 3, the first Monday in 2022, as New Year’s Eve observed.
The last time this sort of calendar event transpired was on New Year’s Eve in 2010.
How rare is this calendar event? Assuming that it was applied since 1928, it would have occurred 13 times from 1928.
Dow Jones Market Data
The lack of a New Year’s Day respite for stock traders is the result of NYSE Rule 7.2, which stipulates that the exchange will be closed either Friday or the following Monday if the holiday falls on a weekend, unless “unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period.”
In this case, the last day of December is a trifecta of accounting dates, including month-, quarter- and year-end dates, and comes as markets have experienced a bout of volatility in recent days.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.74% sank 433 points, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.02% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.18% both registered sharp declines and their third straight drop on the back of omicron-fueled uneasiness and concerns about global economic expansion in the coming year.
By Tuesday afternoon, however, markets had made up for those losses and then some and the 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.458% was hanging near 1.50% after putting in a 3 p.m. Eastern time finish at 1.418%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
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It is worth noting though that the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group, recommends a 2 p.m. Eastern time close for trading in Treasurys on Dec. 31.
The holiday schedule for markets isn’t likely to alter the mood on Wall Street, however. “I don’t see it mattering in a meaningful way,” Baird market strategist Michael Antonelli told MarketWatch.
“The final few sessions of the year have traditionally been very quiet, and the fact that we don’t have a specific holiday for New Year’s likely won’t change that at all,” he said.
For Christmas, the bond market will close early on Dec. 23 and remain closed on Friday, Dec. 24, for Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will observe regular hours on Thursday, Dec 23, closing at 4 p.m. Eastern time and remaining closed on Christmas Eve.
Ken Jimenez contributed to this report.